Almost a year ago to the day, PUMA rebooted its Running System sneaker collection at an event held in Berlin. A few months after that, PUMA then launched their latest collection from the range, the RS-X. The entire range has grown from strength to strength over the 12 months since the first released, which was solidified with their latest drop, the PUMA RS-X Tracks. The Tracks follows on from successful drops within the RS-X range, including the PUMA X Scuderia Ferrari and PUMA RS-X Trophies collection. The RS-X Tracks has a music culture-inspired theme, with tie-in collaborations with the likes of MTV.
Design and Quality
Taking its cues from how music has changed over the years, the silhouette embodies the power of art through the form. The RS-X has an aggressive, future-retro design, reinventing the concept of live music and the culture into a single silhouette. The term future-retro is derived from a design inspired by the past (retro) and the future, where the two worlds meet. The base of the shoe is undoubtedly built upon the 80s classic RS silhouette from the PUMA archives. The RS-X Tracks has been stripped down and rebuilt with modern colours with a mesh and textile upper, complete with stylish leather overlays.
The colours itself are bold, mixing the plain greys, which appeal to the classic nature of the silhouette, alongside the Grey Violet and Turquoise colours, giving it a futuristic colourway and appealing to the youth. The aesthetic is completed with a white midsole and patterned TPU rubber pieces. While the front of the RS-X Tracks is coloured in various greys, the rear features all the remaining colours, almost creating a silhouette of two parts.
There are numerous changes to the traditional PUMA design, starting with the striped Formstrip in dark grey, which has been stitched into the upper. The silhouette features standard grey foxing surround a lighter grey mesh vamp, which in turn is surrounded by a darker grey leather overlay. There are numerous RS-X brandings across the sneaker from the overly pronounced tongue to the heel counter on the back. The branding continues to the insole and below on the outsole.
Often times, looking at an image of a sneaker online before making your purchase isn’t easy, as you miss a lot of the smaller details on the silhouette. The RS-X Tracks is one of those sneakers. There’s quite a lot of detail from almost every angle at which you look at – from the patterns and mess on the front, to the intricate colours and lines on the rear. The quality is also observed within these fine details, most of it from the various materials that have been stitched together to create a unique look and feel.
The RS-X Tracks is from a breed of running sneakers, fitted with PUMA’s RS Technology on the midsole. In addition to RS cushioning system, it features a moulded sock-liner, which, as mentioned previously, includes the RS PUMA branding. The insole also has a cushioned footbed, which has been raised to provide additional cushioning for improved comfort. The upper has a cushioned inner to provide a comfortable fit. Unlike the Atelier New Regime X Puma TSUGI Jun I reviewed recently with its sock-like upper, the RS-X is more of a form fit, snug against your foot. Being a running silhouette, the tight fit means that the foot won’t move around in the footbed while on the move, perfect for longer wears throughout the day.
The sneaker features an embossed textile piece on both the midsole and outsole. The patterned rubber outsole provides additional traction and grip if you do choose to hit the streets for a run. Most of the performance, however, is derived from PUMA’s patented RS Technology, with an elevated fit and feel in order to provide cushion support for the foot.
The RS-X Tracks is extremely comfortable to wear. It’s not the lightest shoe around, but the shoe was built to support the ultimate cushioning and energy recovery as you walk or run. While it may provide unrivalled cushioning below and around the foot, it’s not the best when it comes to prolonged wear. The additional padding can put pressure on your foot, which, after more than five or six hours, does begin to take a toll. That isn’t to say it’s bad, though.
As with most of PUMA’s modern range of sneakers, the RS-X is just as comfortable on the streets and in the gym, as it is on a night out showing them off. You can easily go for a run and then, I’d hope after a shower and refresh, you can make your way out on the town in just as much comfort.
The PUMA RS-X Tracks sneaker is like no other I have in my collection. The details are immense, as there’s quite a lot to take in. The colour balance is also very unique, moving from the subtle greys on the front and mid of the silhouette, to the vibrant colours on the heel.
The chunky aesthetic is bold enough to make almost everyone notice it. And I mean everyone. Anyone from the youngest sneakerhead to a pensioner had something or the other to say about the RS-X, all of it positive. On more than one occasion I entered a number of high-end stores in some of the top malls in Johannesburg, only to be met with awkward stares and glares from the floor assistants and other patrons, only for them to noticeably look down at my sneakers, look back up again and smile. Some even walked up to me and commented, the most extreme of which ended with a surprise “bro-hug.”
With the continued growth of the sneaker market within South Africa, you have to up your game to stand out from the crowd. I believer PUMA has done that here. The PUMA RS-X Tracks is available in a few additional colourways for both men and women, which is available at PUMA Select stores, Sportscene, X-Trend, Side Step, Superbalist and many more. You can pick up a pair for just R1,999.
The PUMA RS-X Tracks is a uniquely designed, chunky sneaker, which only gets better the closer you get, noticing all the small details and materials for every element.
- Intricate, detailed design
- Extreme cushioning
- Can get warm over longer periods